Fresh from the Source

Broccoli

How lucky for us that our favorite cruciferous vegetable is also one of the highest in nutrients! And it’s available through much of the year, too. Eat broccoli raw, in salads or with dips, or steam it as a side. Use it as the basis for vegetarian lasagna or a side salad (with a freshly prepared vinaigrette), and always include it in your stir-fries. Broccoli is strong enough to stand alone, but it partners well with seasonings, too, especially garlic, black pepper, and lemon. Don’t overcook it, and—for maximum flavor and nutrients – eat it as soon as possible after harvest (buying local is your best bet).

Flavor Profile

  • Cabbage taste
  • Some people find it bitter (Some people can taste the bitter compounds and others can’t; it’s a genetic predisposition)
  • Broccolini is milder and sweeter than broccoli

How to Choose a Good One

  • Strong color, dark green, not yellowed
  • Tight buds, no flowering bud clusters
  • Healthy leaves
  • Stems should be lighter green than the buds
  • Stems should be easy to pierce with your nail, not hard, dry, and woody
  • Store unwashed in loose or perforated bags in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Will keep three to five days (Will become strong if stored too long)

Peak Season

  • October through May
  • March through December in California
  • November to March in Arizona
  • Can be planted several times a year, with the last crop maturing before the killing frost

Nutritional Highlights

  • Good source of protein, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium
  • Very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and manganese
  • One of the highest nutritive content vegetables. Contains particularly large amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene)
  • Cook as soon as possible after harvest for maximum nutrition and flavor

General Use

  • Raw, steamed, stir-fried, microwaved
  • Side dish
  • Stir fries
  • Raw in salads or on vegetable trays, with dips
  • Cooked for side salads
  • In casseroles: lasagna, rice, etc.
  • Soups

Complements

  • Lemon, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes
  • Black pepper, sea salt, dill, garlic, cumin
  • Walnuts
  • Anchovies
  • Bacon
  • Bread crumbs
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Hollandaise sauce, vinaigrette, olive oil
  • Oranges
  • Pasta
  • Raisins

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